Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sonnet: Orpheus


I am a traveller at the gate of time,
and still the way is barred against ny quest.
I pluck my lyre: unlease a mighty rhyme -
until the frame vibrated at my breast,
and yet the ivy-riven locks stand fast
that hold from me my dead Eurydice.
Now anger comes to strike a chord at last
a faultless note to set my loved one free.

Down endless stairs of coral and of glass:
undaunted by the wail of Hades' Court
entwined by hellish pathenons of brass:
I played for them the best of all my thought.

They granted me her life as minstral's cost
But I looked back: and all with her, was lost.


An old poem from the archives. The first sonnet I wrote, which
dates it to around 1981.


Brianna_jade said...

I really loved this poem,
but I was wondering exactly what you mean by "ivy-riven locks"?
I'm currently doing a close reading of another poem, 'Prayer' by Hilda DooLittle, and she makes a reference to "riven locks" as well,
"but fold the garment/
on the riven locks"
and I'm quite baffled as to what the whole thing means! I wonder if you could help me ?

Site Owner said...

Sorry so used to not getting comments, I never noticed this until I was doing a clear up.
In the case of my poem ,ivy riven means, 'the gates' locks are 'riven through' pieced by growing ivy' Hilda Doolittle's poem, seems also to depict a tomb breached (riven) by flowers, and yet still unable to be broached by the weakened hands of the living (if I read it right).

Simon BJ